Flu shows up early

By Staff
Leada Gore FCT Staff Writer
Fall is in the air. And while the upside is cooler temperatures, the downside is the onset of the flu season.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 11 cases of early season influenza have been reported this year. While all are in south Alabama, health officials statewide are readying for another active flu season.
Pam Taylor with Russellville Hospital said the hospital begins immunizations in October. Hospital employees have the first access to flu vaccinations. After that, immunizations are offered to the public.
"October is the recommended time for vaccinations, but we give them throughout November, too," Taylor said.
Flu vaccinations are also offered at the Franklin County Health Department. Officials there aren't sure when the vaccines will be available here.
The county health department doesn't have clinics scheduled at this time but expects to do so in the future.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness.
Symptoms include headaches, fever, coughs and a stuff nose.
Children, the elderly or those with existing health conditions are more vulnerable to the disease.